The Morning Tour
Our first stop on Saturday morning was at The Museum of the Shenandoah. Nick Powers, Curator of Collections of the Museum gave an outstanding presentation on the Henkel Press (publishing company) and a demonstration on the actual printing press the Henkel’s used to start their publishing company in 1806.
The Henkel Ramsberg printing press ca. 1750, used to print Henkel publications from 1807 to abt.1830, when a new press was acquired.
A guided tour of the Museum followed Nick’s presentation on the Henkel Press. There were Henkel presentation board scattered throughout the Museum like the one shown above about Dr. Solomon and Dr. Solon Henkel.
The Godfrey Miller Museum was the next stop on the morning tour. Sandy Jones, in full 1700’s attire gave a presentation of the home of John Miller, Godfrey and Anna Maria Miller oldest son. The home has a reception area where Matt Miller, a Miller descendent, and purveyor of his family’s fabulous collection of Henkel and Miller memorabilia gave a presentation explaining the relationship through the years of the inter-marriages of Henkel and Miller, starting with the marriage of Paul Henkel’s son Dr. Solomon to Godfrey Miller’s daughter Rebecca Miller in 1800. Matt as he explained the complex family tree pointed out memorabilia from the era he was talking about. After his presentation our family members looked at many different pieces of Henkel-Miller collectibles mostly from the 1800’s. See a few of pieces of Matt and his brothers collection below.
The Book of Concord was translated by the Henkels from German to English. It took from abt. 1830 until 1847 before it was printed by the Henkel Press.
As captioned the pistol above was used for a Memorial to the people who lived and fought at the Hinkle Fort in Riverton, Pendleton County, VA (at the time, today WV).
Again, as captioned, the Miller Quilt was created by the family of Abraham Shultz and Julia Virginia (Henkel) Miller in 1889. According to Nick Powers, it is a rare example of a quilt that has survived this long in such excellent condition.
Our Next stop was at the Jim Barnette Park where our members enjoyed a barbeque lunch.
The Afternoon Tours
The Bell House which was completed in abt. 1813 was build by John and Rebecca Ann (Miller) Bell. The home was recently purchased by the Shenandoah Valley Battlefield Commission and the Henkel Family Association was the first group to tour the house since the purchase in 2016. Our family enjoyed a presentation by Terry Heder of the Commission.
Our next stop on the tour was at the Handley Library, where we were taken on a guided tour. Featured on the tour were the spectacular inside view of the dome, the children’s library which contained a uniquely placed glass floor and reams of children’s book. Our main focus on the tour was a visit to the Archives section of the library, where the librarian had filled two large display cabinets full of Henkel and Miller memorabilia from the archive library.
Our third stop in the afternoon was at the Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church where Mary Froehliche the Historian of the church gave us a presentation on Godfrey Miller, Reverend Christian Streit,and Paul Henkel. Mary told us how Paul had come to visit Christian Streit around 1786, so that Streit could tutor him for his license to preach in the Lutheran Church. After getting his license, Streit helped him to become an ordain Lutheran minister. Mary surmised that Rev. Paul probably met Godfrey Miller, who was a member of the the church through Rev. Streit. Now we all believe that this is how the long standing relationship truly started!
Our last stop on our tour waas at the ruins of the “old Germany Lutheran Church”. Where Nick Powers presented a timeline on the churches from the time Lord Fairfax donated the land for the church in 1753 until the church was destroyed by fire in 1854.
After Nick’s presentation, he led us to the graves of Godfrey and Anna Maria (Kurtz) Miller’s graves. A picture of the site and the flowers that the “Association” provided for the graves is shown at the end of the Winchester Family Reunion section.